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SKT launches first Korean-based portable AI speaker

SK Telecom has launched a portable artificial intelligence device with enhanced assistance services, it said Tuesday.

Dubbed NUGU Mini, it is the country’s first Korean-based portable AI speaker, according to the company. It is a smaller and portable version of SKT’s home assistant NUGU speaker that was introduced last September and which currently has about 150,000 users here. 
Models hold NUGU Mini devices at a picnic. (SK Telecom)
Models hold NUGU Mini devices at a picnic. (SK Telecom)

The device measures 84 millimeters in width, 84 mm in length and 60 mm in height. Its weight is 219 grams and it is about the size of a mug. It is manufactured by iRiver, SKT’s affiliated manufacturer of digital audio players.

The new speaker’s likely competitor is Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo Dot 2.

NUGU Mini has a built-in battery that can run for four hours both indoors and outdoors.

Offering the same features as NUGU, the portable speaker supports more than 30 different features: It allows users to enjoy music by connecting to SKT’s affiliated music streaming service Melon, control home Internet of Things devices through the Smart Home application, manage schedules, check weather and traffic information, control Internet Protocol television and order food deliveries.

In addition to existing features, the speaker has five new different capabilities, including financial services in cooperation with KB Kookmin Bank and KEB Hana Bank, providing movie information, a Korean-English dictionary, audio book services and an enhanced two-way communication service.

“SK Telecom continues to lead the ICT market in Korea by launching the world’s first portable AI speaker that understands and speaks the Korean language,” said Park Myung-soon, senior vice president and head of AI business at SK Telecom.

NUGU Mini will hit the market Friday at a discounted price of 49,900 won ($44.4) for the next three months.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)



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